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Lea Michele illiteracy

The plot thickens: So, it turns out Lea Michele’s ‘illiteracy’ runs in her family

Her great-grandma was arrested for not being able to read or write

If you’ve spent any time online in the past couple of years, you’ve probably seen the absolutely wild conspiracy theory that Lea Michele, our very own Rachel Berry, is actually illiterate. Yes, as in she can’t read or write.

The theory started in 2018 in a 40-minute video titled: “Lea Michele is Illiterate” and had a huge revival on TikTok a few years ago.

Basically, because she was a child star and started off on Broadway super young not having time to go to school, people are convinced that she can’t read or write. Other “evidence” includes her going onto Scream Queens after Glee as it was directed by the same person who already knew her secret and could feed lines to her.

She’s since addressed and denied the theory but if you haven’t seen it, you can read the full “evidence” in all its glory here.

But, we’ve just had an absolutely insane development to the saga after Lea appeared on an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? where experts dive into celebrities’ family trees and histories. And, wait for it, it turns out her not being able to read or write is actually hereditary.

So basically, Lea Michele’s great-grandma was arrested for being illiterate. The clip shows Lea looking through old family records. She says: “In this column over it here it says able to read or write and it says no and it’s circled.”

The expert then goes on to explain that in 1917 there was an act of Congress lawing that any immigrants going to the US had to be able to read and write in their native language. Lea’s great-grandma was therefore arrested and denied entry to the US because she was unable to read or write.

The Who Do You Think You Are socials team really knew what they were doing when they posted this:


Lea Michelle’s great grandmother was arrested for being illiterate! 🌳 #wdytya #whodoyouthinkyouare #leamichele #ancestry #dna #history #glee #leamicheleisilliterate

♬ original sound – Who Do You Think You Are US

People in the comments are going feral about this new development with one person saying: “I SWEAR TO GOD THERE’S NO WAY” and another: “Omg it’s hereditary”.

Another person added: “This is so beautiful… you know in Mamma Mia 2 when Sophie gets pregnant and realises she’s where her mom had been… just like that”. Stop that right now.

Now obviously Lea is reading the legal documents in the clip and in 2018 she addressed the rumours in a now deleted tweet that said: “Loved READING this tweet and wanted to WRITE you back. Literally laughing out loud at all this.”

Lea Michele illiteracy

Then last year she addressed the rumours again in an interview with the New York Times. She said: “I went to ‘Glee’ every single day; I knew my lines every single day. And then there’s a rumour online that I can’t read or write? It’s sad. It really is.”

Glee is available to watch on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

A deep dive into the conspiracy theory that believes Lea Michele from Glee is illiterate

Lea Michele has addressed the rumours she can’t read